Saturday, August 25, 2012

Another Year – Another Cheer
Annual Review

Marie-Therese Wisniowski

Time flows by so quickly that you don’t notice when another year passes. I started this blog two years ago on the 26th August 2010 - partly as art therapy and partly to inform, aspire and inspire others to imbue themselves in their own art passions.

We are all spectators at different points in time, and that is important for all of us - as learning and appreciative tools - but when we are participants, the mere act of engagement in our art releases us into an imaginary world that refreshes and reinvigorates our spirit. That is why we become so passionate about our art and art practice.

At the outset my commitment was simple: I would blog approximately 50 posts a year, including a summary of each year. For your convenience I have listed these summaries below:
It's Been An Exciting Year (2010/2011)
Where Did The Year Go (2012/2013)
The Year Of The Horse (2013/2014)
Cold and Windy - But on the Dawn of Renewal (2014/2015)
A Time To Reflect - A Time To Select (2015/2016)
A Time to Remember (2016/2017)
To Be or Not to Be (2017/2018)
The Night Too Quickly Passes (2018/2019)

I have positioned this blog site on my twin passions: prints on cloth and prints on paper. However, I would temper my twin passions by including reviews, articles and opinions about art. In my first year I created the following categories: (i) Art Reviews; (ii) Art Essays; (iii) Technical Articles; (iv) Art Exhibitions/Installations; (v) My Prints On Paper; (vi) My ArtCloth; (vii) My Students Outputs (Workshops and Master Classes). This year I added four new categories: (viii) Guest Editor; (ix) Guest Artist; (x) Art Resources; (xi) Wearable Art.

I have never been one to be guided by statistics or popularity since if I was so inclined I would be attracted to the tried and tested media of the arts, namely, canvas paintings, sculpture, murals, frescos etc.

Although I have my favourite posts, I am always shocked with what the democratic process throws up at you (i.e. number of page views, visitors, length of stay etc.) Some I would have predicted, others I shook my head in wonder. The latter category always rested on my artwork, since we all believe that we know our artwork better than anyone else and so we assert - we know what works and what doesn’t. Think again!

Art Reviews (2011 - 2012)
The most popular Art Review was Traditional Indian Textiles by a country mile! What was so surprising by this result was that this category contained some excellent ArtCloth posts such as ArtCloth From Utopia (Aboriginal ArtCloth).

A closer inspection of the statistics revealed that most of the visits came from Indian internet service providers (ISP's). Hence, people from India were viewing traditional Indian textiles from a book written by two Englishmen and a review constructed by an Australian. I guess it doesn’t get more fascinating than that!

Rabari shepherd families dressed to go to Krishna’s birthday festival (outside of Anjar, Kutch).
Traditional Indian Textiles.

Art Essays (2011 - 2012)
There were quite a few Art Essays penned in this year. It is not surprising that the two most popular were Pop Art and New York Spray Can Memorials, with the former taking out the pop-ular prize (sorry about the pun). The “Pop Art” essay is on the reading list of some Australian Art Schools and it has been duplicated on a number of websites around the world (e.g. "PDF Pop Art") and so it was not surprising that this essay was the most viewed in this category.

“Collaged, layered, torn, worn graffiti poster creating exciting compositions and juxtapositions of colors and fragments that have the power of carefully crafted collages”. David Robinson, Soho Walls, Beyond Graffiti, Artist Unknown.
Pop Art.

Technical Articles (2011 - 2012)
There were a number of Technical Articles published over the year. The article in Quilting Arts Magazine - Multisperse Dye Sublimation (MSDS) had a number of different website groups contact me and attempt to repeat the published process that produced the images in the magazine. Interest alone in the technique gave this post the filip it needed to be the most viewed in this category.

My MSDS technique was published in Quilting Arts, August/September 2011 issue, No. 52.

Art Exhibitions/Installations (2011 - 2012)
This category was thin on the ground in my second year. Moreover, my latest exhibition - When Rainforests Ruled - was only posted on the 14th July 2012 and yet it out polled my other exhibition - Another Brick - which was uploaded in October, 2011. Length of stay on the blogspot is not necessarily the sole criterion for popularity (although in some categories it is a significant factor!)

Title: Nura Nura.
Framed Size: 45 cm (width) x 55 cm (height).
When Rainforests Ruled - ArtCloth Exhibition@Purple Noon Art And Sculpture Gallery (Freemans Reach, NSW, Australia).

My Prints On Paper (2011 - 2012)
There were a number of my prints on paper in my second year – ranging from Veiled Curtains to Beyond The Fear Of Freedom to A Letter To A Friend. The latter was the most popular. More recently there is a renewed interest in tattoo art as well as socio-political poster art. Both of my artist printmakers’ books sit within that last genre, whereas Beyond The Fear Of Freedom also features tattoo art.

A Letter to A Friend – The Bird Of Prey.

My ArtCloth (2011 - 2012)
There are a number of posts carrying my ArtCloth on this blog spot. The statistics show that the most popular in terms of page views, visitors and length of duration was The Making Of Cultural Graffiti. Although the post contained mixed media, most of it was composed of ArtCloth pieces. It is clear from the comment delivered, that how my Post Graffiti artworks interfaced with Graffiti itself was of interest. It is not surprising that the Post Graffiti movement on cloth is gaining acceptance and so reaching a wider audience. This art exploration is definitely on the move.

Cultural Graffiti I (Detailed View) - ArtCloth.
Technique: Dyed, overdyed, stamped, matrix formatted silkscreened prints using dyes, metallic foils and transparent, opaque and metallic paints on cotton.
Size: 250 cm (width) x 125 cm (length).
First Exhibited: In 2004 I was invited to participate in the "ArtCloth 2004: Committed to Cloth", exhibition at the "Festival of Quilts and the Knit & Stitch Conference", Birmingham, England. See above image.

Workshops (2011 - 2012)
I love my student’s outputs. When I teach a workshop I am always amazed at the chemistry amongst my students. They are so generous with each other - lending each other their tools, and sharing their ideas. I have rarely met an ill-spirited person. Most of my students are mature-age students who happen to be women and so are excellent at networking. Moreover, they have paid to learn and so they soak it in like a blotter. Camaraderie and laughter I believe are the most important ingredients in order to engender a learning atmosphere.

Now I should give most of them a discount, because what I have not shared with them in the past is that they are teaching me lots. Sure I impart to them techniques, ideas on color, composition and design but they show me their inspiration and at the end of the day I am flabbergasted - where did that concept spring from? Their life experiences seep deep into their sub-consciousness and spring forth into their constructed imagery and into their nuances of ideas that surface in their artworks.

The most popular viewed workshop was the Disperse Dye and Transfer Printing Workshop@Hunters Hill, Sydney. It was a five-day workshop in which the group produced outstanding work. I work all my student groups hard and the output from Hunters Hill (as with my other groups) reflects their hard work.

Disperse Dye and Transfer Printing Workshop@Hunters Hill, Sydney.
Standing from back left to right: Jayne Carruthers, Maz Beeston, Judi Crawford, Dianne Leith Page, Susan Pepper, Carole McLachlan, Barbara McLennan and Kathy Geurts. Sitting from front left to right: Mandy Smith, Carolyn Hickey and Robyn.

Guest Editor (2011 - 2012)
There were two Guest Editor spots and the most viewed was that of Teresa Paschke (Iowa State University) who taught her class the MultiSperse Dye Sublimation (MSDS) technique in order to produce a group work aptly named Autumn Splendor. Her student’s output was superb and the banner that they produced was a colorful tribute to the season. It really held together well as a team effort punctuated by their individual works.

Autumn Splendor Group.
Tutor: Tersa Paschke
Group photo from left to right:
Back Row: Kelsey Gill, Brittney Lynch, Brooke Batterson, Donny Chen, Jennifer Sonner, Christine Prince.
Front Row: Binnie Bae, Kate Derksen, Karen Schmidt, Ananya Arora, Jordan Delzell, Rahele Jomepour.

Guest Artist (2011 - 2012)
Jennifer Libby Fay was my inaugural Guest Artist. Her blog My Voice Using Disperse Dyes On Cloth was a stunning body of artwork. It was ArtCloth using disperse dyes - with her signature all over it. The subtlety and composition of her artwork is carefully thought out. When you view her work - those soft tones with their painterly qualities - just reaches ever so gently into your sub-consciousness and makes you feel refreshed and renewed. She gave us a little insight into her greater body of work.

Jennifer Libby Fay - Guest Artist: My Voice Using Disperse Dyes On Cloth - at work in her studio lifting cloth (Kansas City, Missouri, USA).

Art Resources (2011 - 2012)
The “Art Resource” program has had some directed criticism in that some thought it was unnecessarily complex whilst others thought it hit the mark. The problem with this series is that it tries to span information that will be useful for a home hobbyist as well as that required by a final year University fine-art student and so undoubtedly, some parts of any Art Resource posts may appear far too technical or far too simplistic with respect to the level of knowledge of the reader. The trade-off between these two extremes will mean that the Art Resource posts hopefully will be useful in parts to most, but unfortunately, may not be satisfying to all.

With that built-in flaw in mind - of all the Art Resources posts the Glossary Of Terms And Fabrics is streaks ahead of the field in this category. The Glossary is now up to version 2.7 and in its inception it was only 38 pages in length in PDF format. The glossary is now 220 pages in length and contains a vast array of definitions ranging from chemical to fabric processes, descriptions of implements, fabrics, stain removal from fabrics, yarns, knits, fleeces, colors, natural and commercial dyes, pigments, craft techniques, compositions, designs, wearable art processes, graphic design definitions, paper printmaking processes, embroidery, needlework, printmaking and surface design on cloth processes, artists, and art movements etc. The Glossary will be updated from time-to-time in the future.

In one simple area in this document you will find the following definitions.

Dutch White (pigment): China clay; also Dutch process white lead.

Duvetyn: A fabric that is similar to suede but lighter in weight and is more drapable. It has a soft velvet-like surface made by napping, shearing and brushing.

Dyad: Any pair of complementary hues.

Dye Based Ink: Ink obtaining its color from aniline dye.

Dyebath: Water in which the dyestuff has been cooked out. The dyestuff itself is often strained off and discarded.

Dyeing: Apart from its participle meaning it is also used as a noun meaning a specimen of dyed material (e.g. a dyed hank of cotton). Dyeing is in general carried out in an aqueous solution. Attachment of a dye molecule to a fiber is due to absorption. There are four types of forces that bind a dye molecule to a fiber and these are: ionic forces, hydrogen bonds, van der Waals’ forces and covalent bonds.

Dyebath Ratio: The ratio between the cloth weight and water is called the dyebath ratio. For example, a 1:50 dyebath ratio means for every 1g of cloth 50g of water is required.

Dyed Style: A method of patterning in which a mordant is applied to a fabric before dyeing. Only the mordant areas permanently fix the dye. Different mordants can produce different colors with the same dye upon the piece of fabric.

Dyestuff: Animal, mineral or vegetable (plant) matter from which a dye is made.

And in another part of the Glossary you will find:
Amethyst (Violet) (CI - 15C6): The color of amethyst, a semi-precious stone, which may at times appear bluer than the color shown here. From the Greek - amethystos - meaning "without intoxication", since the stone was considered protective against drunkenness (1572).

Wearable Art (2011 - 2012)
There were four posts in this category this year. The two posts that slugged it out were A Selection of My Scarves and My Silk Rayon Velvet Scarves@Purple Noon. The former was posted in February 2012, whereas the latter was posted just one month ago.

Length of duration does not always mean a greater viewer audience since other factors such as presentation of images can also hold sway; that is, many new visitors are attracted to this blogspot via searching for images on the web. This was a significant factor for this post to gain the ascendency.

ArtCloth Velvet Scarf 1.
Technique: Hand dyed and Hand printed by the artist. Dyed, over-dyed, discharged, silk screened and foiled employing dyes and foil on silk rayon velvet.
Size: 28 cm (width) x 180 cm (length).

ArtCloth Velvet Scarf 1 - Detail View.

In this review of 2011-2012 posts, let me add I always like to receive comments, whether they are critical or singing praises – how else can one learn?

Gremlins will continue to appear in my posts - such as in Rainforest Memories II where a photograph of a waterfall attributed to the Daintree Rainforest should have been attributed to a waterfall in the Atherton Tablelands (as a wise anonymous reader pointed out). This mistake has been corrected – thanks anonymous!

One of the beautiful falls in the Daintree Rainforest (and this one is for real!)
Rainforest Memories II

It has been “Another Year – Another Cheer”. Have fun blogging your art - remain passionate!

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